Who can submit an Entry Form?
Entry forms can only be submitted by a college lecturer.
How many teams can a college enter?
A college can enter as many teams as it wishes.
Who judges the competition?
Competition judges are from organisations and associations including our official partner the Craft Guild of Chefs, the Welsh Culinary Association, and the Federation of Chefs Scotland. All judges are independent and all work to a standardised judging format.
Please explain the various stages of the competition?
Stage 1 – Entry
Teams must submit a paper entry form, which will include details of their three-course, two-cover menu, the ingredients and methodology used for each course and the associated costs of each element which must total a maximum of £8 per cover. The entries for the 2015/2016 are now closed. We’re busy building a bigger and better opportunity for Student Chefs and their colleges for the 2016/2017 Challenge. Click here to enter to register your interest!
Stage 2 – Paper Judging
Entries will be ‘paper judged’ by a panel of judges who will be looking to see whether a team’s menu is balanced and achievable to cook within the 1 hour time limit. Teams will also be judged on their interpretation of the ‘use of local/regional ingredients, processes, techniques, culinary skills and ability to cost a menu.
Stage 3 – Regional Heats
The short listed teams will compete in live cook offs at each regional heat (Scotland, Northern Ireland, North, Midlands & East Anglia, London, South West & Wales and South East). Teams will be marked by a panel of judges against a number of criteria including taste, presentation, teamwork, seasoning, culinary skills, working method, timing and the overall balance of the menu. The winning team from each of the regional heats along with a ‘Best Runner Up’ from across all the heats will then be invited to take part in the live competition final. The ‘Best Runner Up’ will be announced on completion of all the regional heats.
Stage 4 – Competition Final
The nine qualifying teams will compete in a live cook off at the competition final, which will be held at Hotelympia 2016 on 3rd March 2016 from 10:50am-11:50am. The teams will be marked by a panel of judges against a number of criteria including taste, presentation, teamwork, seasoning, culinary skills, working method, timing and the overall balance of the menu. The team with the best overall mark will be crowned the 2015/2016 Country Range Student Chef Challenge winner. The winning team members will receive prizes including a five-day work experience week assisting the Craft Guild of Chefs culinary team at the Culinary Olympics in Germany. The winning college will also receive support with building PR around their involvement and victory in the Country Range Student Chef Challenge.
Where will the regional heats be held?
Heats will be held at a college that has the appropriate facilities and is closest, where possible, to the majority of the other regional heat participants. Exact venues, dates and times are still to be confirmed.
Where will the Challenge Final be held?
For the 2015/2016 competition, the final will be held at Hotelympia 2016 on 3rd March 2016 from 10:50am-11:50am. Click here to view the Hotelympia Salon Culinaire 2016 Live Theatre Timetable
Do we need to bring our own ingredients?
All ingredients and specialist equipment will need to be supplied by the college for both the regional heats and competition final. If you would like to use Country Range brand ingredients to practice with and/or to include within your menu then please feel free to contact one of the exclusive distributor member wholesalers of the Country Range Group.
What mise-en-place is allowed?
All mise-en-place will be checked during the 1 hour cooking time. Stocks, glazes, puff and filo pastry and peeled (not cut) vegetables are allowed. Competition judges will be looking for students to demonstrate their skills so wherever possible all butchery and filleting should be undertaken during the cooking time.
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